FIFA World Cup

World Cup 2014: Updated Group Standings, X-Factors to Watch in Tuesday's Action

Belgium's Romelu Lukaku salutes after he scored against Luxembourg, during a friendly soccer match at the Cristal Arena stadium in Genk, eastern Belgium, Tuesday, May 26, 2014. Belgium will play against South Korea, Russia and Algeria in Group H of the World Cup 2014 in Brazil. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe)
Yves Logghe/Associated Press
Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistJune 16, 2014

Germany's 4-0 win over Portugal on Monday was the kind of World Cup opener that Joachim Low will have been hoping his side could produce in Brazil.

The result sets Die Mannschaft in good stead for the rest of their Group G campaign, but that entertainment was far removed from the 0-0 draw that followed between Iran and Nigeria later in the day.

Following those results, we take a look at the current standings as well as preview some of the stars worth keeping an eye on in Day 6 of the tournament.

World Cup 2014: Group Standings
Group A
TeamPWDPtsPts
Brazil11003
Mexico11003
Cameroon10010
Croatia10010
Group B
TeamPWDPtsPts
Netherlands11003
Chile11003
Australia10010
Spain10010
Group C
TeamPWDPtsPts
Colombia11003
Ivory Coast11003
Japan10010
Greece10010
Group D
TeamPWDLPts
Costa Rica11003
Italy11003
England10010
Uruguay10010
Group E
TeamPWDLPts
France11003
Switzerland11003
Ecuador10010
Honduras10010
Group F
TeamPWDLPts
Argentina11003
Iran10101
Nigeria10101
Bosnia-Herzegovina10010
Group G
TeamPWDLPts
Germany11003
United States00000
Ghana00000
Portugal10010
Group H
TeamPWDLPts
Belgium00000
Algeria00000
Russia00000
Korea Republic00000
FIFA.com

 

Tuesday's X-Factors To Watch

Romelu Lukaku, Belgium

Playing as the focal point of Marc Wilmots' attack in the absence of the crocked Christian Benteke, Romelu Lukaku shoulders the biggest responsibility of his career thus far coming into the World Cup.

Andrew Medichini/Associated Press

Belgium's midfield is packed to the rafters with creative talents such as Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Adnan Januzaj and Kevin Mirallas, but it's Lukaku whom those figures will be using as a springboard, too.

The Press Association's Martyn Ziegler feels that the Chelsea man has what it takes to fill the void in the sole striker role:

The Belgians take on an enigmatic threat in the form of Algeria on Tuesday, and considering they failed to score a goal at the 2010 World Cup, they'll be striving to ensure their defence is at least up to scratch against such a threat.

 

Ramires, Brazil

Andre Penner/Associated Press

With the news that Hulk could be out of Brazil's second game of the tournament against Mexico, eyes immediately turn to whom Luiz Felipe Scolari will choose in filling his shoes on Tuesday if he's unable to play.

Ben Smith of the BBC says that Chelsea's Ramires is the man likely to come in, although it remains uncertain as to whether that would be a like-for-like swap or if things will be shuffled as a result:

Although a central figure by trade, Ramires does possess a wide array of physical attributes and could come onto the right, in which case it would be intriguing to see how the playmaker performs in a role he hasn't been accustomed to for the Blues this season.

Equally, if it means a switching of personnel in the middle, Ramires will be expected to slow the progress of figures such as Giovani dos Santos and even Oribe Peralta coming through the central channels.

 

Yuri Zhirkov, Russia

LUXEMBOURG - OCTOBER 11:  Yury Zhirkov of Russia battles for the ball with Chris Philipps of Luxembourg during the FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier Group F match between Luxembourg and Russia at the Josy Barthel Stadium on October 11, 2013 in Luxembourg, Lux
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

At 30 years of age, Yuri Zhirkov couldn't hope to enter a World Cup any closer to his prime than this summer, and the long-term Russia staple will seek to ensure Fabio Capello's men get their Group H trials off to a booming start against South Korea.

The Dynamo Moscow star could well once again take his place in midfield with Roman Shirokov ruled out of the World Cup due to injury, giving a touch more experience to the creative ranks.

Who Ate All The Pies show just how recently Zhirkov was making his presence felt in an attacking capacity:

His left foot holds its own renown among goalkeepers, but Zhirkov should also be hugely concerned with the talents that South Korea possess out wide in Son Heung-min and Lee Chung-yong, the former of whom will concern his flank most.

Zhirkov will of course be looked upon to rain down ammunition from out wide, but offering his left-back cover will also rank high among his priorities, lest Son be allowed to take advantage.

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